Question before buying Acourate

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vikcious
Posts: 11
Joined: 26 Dec 2021 21:13

Question before buying Acourate

Post by vikcious » 27 Dec 2021 12:34

Hi everyone,

I have read a lot lately about the prowess of Acourate and the very nice job it can do with FIR filters for various players. Before I put my money in I need to make sure that the current setup I am running can be tamed with Acourate or if changes are necessary beforehand.

I am running the following setup:
Roon (on QNAP) --> Matrix Audio Mini-i PRO 3 (as Roon endpoint)
--> Purifi Based Amplifier (via XLR) --> KEF R3s speakers
--> 2 x SVS PB-1000 subs (via shared/split Matrix Audio Mini-i analog RCA output)


My doubt are related to the following situation:

Since I connect my subs to the RCA output of the MA Streamer, it means (in my newbie mind) that they are receiving the same signal as main speakers, and I would have to use the crossover of my subwoofers to integrate them with the mains.
What I am unsure of is if:
1) Do I need to (somehow, probably using a MiniDP or similar) create crossovers for mains and subs?
2) Would I be able to do time alignment of my mains and subs with the same convolver filter I would add to Roon?


@UliBru... I was also contemplating of buying from you the ABACUS Preamp 14 CleanVolver DPA but I am still not sure if I would be able to fix the two problems/questions above and how.

Any help, references for documentations and hints would be very much appreciated.
Acourate system: Matrix Audio Mini-I PRO3 --> AcourateConvolver --> Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre --> Audiophonics Purifi Based Amplif --> KEF R3s / 2x SVS SB 1000
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UliBru
Posts: 433
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 13:58

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by UliBru » 27 Dec 2021 16:04

vikcious wrote:
27 Dec 2021 12:34
Hi everyone,

I have read a lot lately about the prowess of Acourate and the very nice job it can do with FIR filters for various players. Before I put my money in I need to make sure that the current setup I am running can be tamed with Acourate or if changes are necessary beforehand.

I am running the following setup:
Roon (on QNAP) --> Matrix Audio Mini-i PRO 3 (as Roon endpoint)
--> Purifi Based Amplifier (via XLR) --> KEF R3s speakers
--> 2 x SVS PB-1000 subs (via shared/split Matrix Audio Mini-i analog RCA output)


My doubt are related to the following situation:

Since I connect my subs to the RCA output of the MA Streamer, it means (in my newbie mind) that they are receiving the same signal as main speakers, and I would have to use the crossover of my subwoofers to integrate them with the mains.
What I am unsure of is if:
1) Do I need to (somehow, probably using a MiniDP or similar) create crossovers for mains and subs?
2) Would I be able to do time alignment of my mains and subs with the same convolver filter I would add to Roon?


@UliBru... I was also contemplating of buying from you the ABACUS Preamp 14 CleanVolver DPA but I am still not sure if I would be able to fix the two problems/questions above and how.

Any help, references for documentations and hints would be very much appreciated.
Hi,

by the given configuration both manin amp and sub amps receive the same signal. The sub amp has the possibility to define a lowpass. Whereas the main speakers will play the full range signal. So at the and subs + main speakers play the same low frequencies in parallel. Depending on the setup in the room thus the bass drivers may play together or fight against each other, they may play in time or out of time.

Possible the subs allow to receive the full signal and to split it into lowpass (played by the sub) and highpass (forwarded to the main speakers).

In both cases the player (+ onvolver) simply see a 2-channel system.

Another solution would be to split the signal before the main amp and sub amps. This definitely means that there must be four channels in total. Then we can talk about a full active setup.

A simple example would be Roo on a PC. The Roon convolution engine can process the four filters and send the result to a four channel soundcard which feed the main am and the sub amps.

So you have to check if your actual hardware allows four independent channels. If no, then you have to prep a setup as described as first solutions.

PS: the Preamp14 has 2 channels only. It is not a solution for an active setup.
Stay well tuned
Uli

Moderator
Acourate system: JRiver/Roon -> AcourateConvolver -> miniDSP U-DIO8 -> TacT M/S2150 amps -> DIY horn speakers
Ecwl
Posts: 43
Joined: 19 Feb 2021 01:05

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by Ecwl » 27 Dec 2021 16:12

I used to have a setup fairly similar to yours with speakers+subwoofers.
You don’t have to switch to an active crossover setup to use Acourate. Just like we don’t have to switch from passive speakers to active speakers to use Acourate.
But of course, we can’t time align the subwoofers and speakers as well in this passive setup. So most of the time alignment would be done when you originally setup your subwoofers. And as Uli said, currently, you’re getting overlap of the subwoofers and the speakers that may be suboptimal. On the other hand, I found even with these limitations, Acourate can still dramatically improve the sound (at least in my previous system).
You would simply measure your system with Acourate as it is now with speakers+subwoofers playing at the same time and then the convolution filter created would be for speakers+subwoofers to be played at the same time.

Presumably, you’ve optimized your crossover for the subwoofers to integrate with your speakers by using some sort of calibrated microphone and a laptop. To run Acourate optimally, you ideally want a USB audio interface (DAC+ADC) to play the measurement and record with an XLR microphone with the USB audio interface in Acourate. You can either plug the USB audio interface DAC outputs (XLR+RCA) feed your KEF R3+SVS or you can use a Toslink/S/PDIF output from the USB audio interface to feed the Matrix Audio Mini-i for playback. But you would have to make sure the USB audio interface you buy, e.g. Focusrite/Lynx supports dual XLR+RCA output or Toslink/S/PDIF output.
If you already have a USB or non-USB microphone for your laptop, and you’re not ready to spend additional money on a USB audio interface for playback and recording, in theory, you can run LSR3 and plug your laptop via USB/Toslink/coaxial digital/S/PDIF into the Matrix and use your USB microphone to record. The measurement this way maybe slightly suboptimal so the correction may be slightly suboptimal but honestly, I think once you’ve optimized the correction, it’ll still sound better than no correction at all. And then afterwards, you can always decide whether you want to upgrade to a proper USB audio interface.

It’ll be interesting to see what others suggest as alternatives as they may recommend that you switch to a DAC/USB audio interface that can function as an active crossover now so you can time align the subwoofers and the speakers digitally. I think miniDSP products can playback but I didn’t think they can record.
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dsnyder
Posts: 21
Joined: 22 Oct 2019 13:52

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by dsnyder » 28 Dec 2021 20:05

vikcious wrote:
27 Dec 2021 12:34
Since I connect my subs to the RCA output of the MA Streamer, it means (in my newbie mind) that they are receiving the same signal as main speakers, and I would have to use the crossover of my subwoofers to integrate them with the mains.
What I am unsure of is if:
1) Do I need to (somehow, probably using a MiniDP or similar) create crossovers for mains and subs?
2) Would I be able to do time alignment of my mains and subs with the same convolver filter I would add to Roon?
I have a pair of 7 inch 2-way monitors and a pair of SVS subs. The XLR outputs from my preamp feed the speaker amps and the RCA outputs go to the subs. I'm not (currently) using a high-pass filter on the monitors. I'm also using Roon, so it sounds like our setups are quite similar.

Image

I was able to get excellent integration between the monitors and subs by placement and careful adjustments of the subs' controls. A calibrated mic and Room EQ Wizard are helpful tools for evaluating the quality of the integration and measuring the results as you go. If you're able to achieve a good blend without adding a high-pass to your main speakers, I think you're fine. If you're not happy with the blend, it's worth exploring a 4-channel DAC solution, as Uli suggested, so that you can manage the transition completely with FIR filters. But that would mean moving away from your Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3, which I assume you like very much.

At least 80% of the benefits you get by using Acourate come from the way it corrects issues with the room, not the loudspeakers. So, I think you'll be happy with the results even without going the active crossover route. The best way to find out is to make an initial investment in some recording equipment so that you can give it a try. I would suggest the Focusrite Scarlett Solo ($119) and a Cross•Spectrum Labs calibrated Dayton Audio EMM-6 mic ($75). You'll also need a mic cable and stand (~$20 each). Assuming that you have a PC or laptop running Windows already, that's an initial investment of under $250, but you'll be able to use these parts with REW and other solutions in the unlikely event that you're not happy with the results from Acourate.

If that's too much, you could go with the Cross•Spectrum Labs calibrated miniDSP UMIK-1 ($110). You won't be able to use it to properly record impulse response measurements from Acourate, but I've been able to achieve good results by taking the measurements using Room EQ Wizard with an acoustic timing reference and then importing them into Acourate to build the filters. I cover some of the necessary steps in this video:



If you send Uli your impulse response measurements and a couple of test tracks in WAV or FLAC format, he will send back the test tracks with Acourate filters baked-in so that you can get a sense of what's possible with Acourate. You can find more information about this here: https://www.audiovero.de/en/acourate-te ... free--.php
Acourate system: Roon -> Gustard X16 DAC -> Topping Pre90 -> Orchard Audio monoblocks -> Fritz Carrera 7 BE monitors + REL T7i subs
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dsnyder
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Joined: 22 Oct 2019 13:52

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by dsnyder » 28 Dec 2021 20:16

Update for those following along at home, if you want to use Roon + REW to record sweeps, I'd suggest using these generator settings instead of what I demonstrated in my video:

Image

Image

That will get you closer to the frequency range and sweep duration that Acourate LSR uses by default. If you have a mic calibration file, be sure to use it when you record the wweeps or at least include it with your measurements so that it can be applied later.
Acourate system: Roon -> Gustard X16 DAC -> Topping Pre90 -> Orchard Audio monoblocks -> Fritz Carrera 7 BE monitors + REL T7i subs
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vikcious
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Joined: 26 Dec 2021 21:13

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by vikcious » 29 Dec 2021 10:44

Hi everyone and many thanks for taking the time to respond to my query. I have already started using REW + Umik-1 to create some convolution filters (without time alignment) for ROON and they work okish in dealing with some of my room modals.

However I am intrigued by the your statement about the Umik-1 mic below. Is this true? Since I am planning on purchasing an Acourate license one of these days I need to know if my gear is right or should I buy another mic to have the right gear and get the best out of Acourate.

Uli, can you please confirm? 😇

dsnyder wrote:
28 Dec 2021 20:05
If that's too much, you could go with the Cross•Spectrum Labs calibrated miniDSP UMIK-1 ($110). You won't be able to use it to properly record impulse response measurements from Acourate, but I've been able to achieve good results by taking the measurements using Room EQ Wizard with an acoustic timing reference and then importing them into Acourate to build the filters.
Acourate system: Matrix Audio Mini-I PRO3 --> AcourateConvolver --> Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre --> Audiophonics Purifi Based Amplif --> KEF R3s / 2x SVS SB 1000
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vikcious
Posts: 11
Joined: 26 Dec 2021 21:13

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by vikcious » 29 Dec 2021 10:50

Hi Uli,

I tried searching the site for the "Umik-1" fit for Acourate (and avoid nagging others) but there seems to be smth broken about the search engine.
https://imgur.com/a/rSwUgBK
Acourate system: Matrix Audio Mini-I PRO3 --> AcourateConvolver --> Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre --> Audiophonics Purifi Based Amplif --> KEF R3s / 2x SVS SB 1000
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UliBru
Posts: 433
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 13:58

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by UliBru » 29 Dec 2021 11:32

Please see viewtopic.php?p=353#p353 for an explanation.
See also viewtopic.php?p=1194#p1194
Stay well tuned
Uli

Moderator
Acourate system: JRiver/Roon -> AcourateConvolver -> miniDSP U-DIO8 -> TacT M/S2150 amps -> DIY horn speakers
User avatar
vikcious
Posts: 11
Joined: 26 Dec 2021 21:13

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by vikcious » 29 Dec 2021 12:03

UliBru wrote:
29 Dec 2021 11:32
Please see viewtopic.php?p=353#p353 for an explanation.
See also viewtopic.php?p=1194#p1194
Quick question since I have seen that you referenced "Steinberg UR12 or a Focusrite Scarlett Solo". I have this Behnringer QX1002USB https://www.behringer.com/product.html?modelCode=P0ALP lying around for some time and based on the specifications and its availability of ASIO drivers to me it makes a good match for the Acourate.

Do you agree?
Acourate system: Matrix Audio Mini-I PRO3 --> AcourateConvolver --> Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre --> Audiophonics Purifi Based Amplif --> KEF R3s / 2x SVS SB 1000
User avatar
vikcious
Posts: 11
Joined: 26 Dec 2021 21:13

Re: Question before buying Acourate

Post by vikcious » 29 Dec 2021 12:51

dsnyder wrote:
28 Dec 2021 20:05
At least 80% of the benefits you get by using Acourate come from the way it corrects issues with the room, not the loudspeakers. So, I think you'll be happy with the results even without going the active crossover route. The best way to find out is to make an initial investment in some recording equipment so that you can give it a try. I would suggest the Focusrite Scarlett Solo ($119) and a Cross•Spectrum Labs calibrated Dayton Audio EMM-6 mic ($75). You'll also need a mic cable and stand (~$20 each). Assuming that you have a PC or laptop running Windows already, that's an initial investment of under $250, but you'll be able to use these parts with REW and other solutions in the unlikely event that you're not happy with the results from Acourate.
Many thanks David for your comprehensive answer. Much appreciated. Eventually, once done with my onw research, I concluded that Focusrite interface + the Dayton Audio EMM-6 mic (it also comes with its own calibration file) would be the perfect match.
Acourate system: Matrix Audio Mini-I PRO3 --> AcourateConvolver --> Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre --> Audiophonics Purifi Based Amplif --> KEF R3s / 2x SVS SB 1000
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